Collateral Damage


Story by DragonWriter17
Written by DragonWriter17, Kye, and Zahir al Daoud
(with additional writing by Gelfling21 and CN Winters)
Produced and Directed by CN Winters and Susan Carr
Edited by DragonWriter17 and Lilly
Sounds by CSR
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, CN Winters, Zahir al Daoud, Isis, Mattxxx, and Humaira

Video "Sic Semper Vi" by Zahir al Daoud

A Week After "Hide-n-Seek"

Fade In:

Sic Semper Vi


Cut To:
Xander's Apartment – Day

"Vi! Don't go!"

As he spoke those words, Xander jerked awake on his couch. Tears poured down his unshaven face as he frantically glanced about the room, searching for the familiar redhead. When he didn't see her, he dropped his gaze to his hands and forced himself to breathe in and out very slowly.

His efforts to collect himself failed, however, and a sob escaped his throat. He covered his face with his hands and began to cry in earnest – with deep, body-shaking sobs that he thought would never cease.

They did stop, though, and he was finally able to wipe his eyes and face and to breathe normally. He ran a hand through his unkempt hair and sighed heavily. Then he glanced down at the coffee table in front of him.

It was covered with photos, notes, and letters as well as empty beer bottles and junk food wrappers. Also on the table were a box of tissues, a phone, and a universal remote. On the corner was a business card with the Watchers logo on it. Xander picked up the card. It was from Dr. Millenti, the Council psychiatrist. Xander looked away from the card and stared at the wall for a long moment; then he carelessly tossed the card back onto the table.

Xander picked up the remote and turned on the TV and the DVD player. He plopped back against the couch and wearily pressed the play button. As the familiar and somber song began to play, Xander stared lifelessly at the images on the screen.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Buffy's Office – Same Time

"How's Xander doing?" Giles asked gently. He was seated in an armchair across from Buffy and Willow, who sat on the small sofa in the corner of the office.

"He's still camped out in his apartment, watching that memorial service slideshow over and over," Willow answered. "I'm really worried about him."

"We all are," Buffy agreed.

"Has he gone to see Dr. Millenti yet?" Giles asked.

Buffy shook her head sadly. Willow did the same and then said, "A-A-And I'm just as worried about Kennedy…"

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time

Kennedy worked the punching bag with severe regularity. Her hair and clothes were soaked with sweat, indicating that she'd been at it for some time.

Voiceover, Willow: "…she's all gung-ho about the Heli-hunt…like she's ready to dish out some vigilante justice…"

Kennedy intensified her attack on the bag until she was a blur of action. She screamed aloud with the last few punches and then suddenly stopped, stepping away from the heavy bag. Panting from the exertion, she let her arms hang limply at her sides.

When she had regained her breath, Kennedy put her hands on her hips and looked out the nearby window. With her thoughts clearly not on the scenery outside, she clenched her jaw repeatedly, with a frightening fierceness in her eyes.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Buffy's Office – Resume

"You don't think that she'd – ?" Giles asked, concerned.

"No, not really," Willow replied instantly. "I'm just scared. I've got two very good friends who could potentially end up in self-destruct zone, and I don't wanna see that happen."

Buffy regarded Willow solemnly. "We'll just have to make sure it doesn't, then."

Both Buffy and Willow gave a determined nod at that notion, but when they looked at Giles, deep worry still lingered in their eyes.

Fade Out

End of Teaser
To Act One